Congratulations to Rishi Lahoti, Daniel Madden, Brian Holahan, and Ross Wilhelm for placing third in the Deloitte National Undergraduate Case Competition! The team of four was competing against fifteen other different schools and managed to become the first Virginia Tech team to podium finish.

Rishi and Daniel are both Freshman and Brian and Ross are both Sophomores. Rishi is a FinTech and Big Data Analytics major, Daniel is majoring in Finance (CFA) and Computer Science, Brian is majoring in Business Information Technology, and Ross is a Corporate Financial Management major.

We got to connect with Rishi, Daniel, Brian, and Ross to discuss their reaction to the big news and hear more about the event. Here’s what they said:

Can you tell us more about the competition?

Rishi: The event is hosted by Deloitte, and it started off as a local case competition. You have to submit your resumes and a few essays as a team. Then they select nine Virginia Tech teams out of that round of the local case competition. From the local competition, you then meet with the winners of every local competition and go to Deloitte University in Westlake, Texas. There you get to compete with other local competition winners, we faced 15 other college teams. It’s just a consulting case competition to see how well you can do answering it in a real-life context.

How did you find out about the competition?

Brian: We’re all in Delta Sigma Pi, which is a business fraternity here on campus, and one of the alumni whose working at Deloitte now reached out to the entire organization. He said it was a great opportunity for you guys and I’d really recommend doing it because it furthered my professional development when I was a student.

Daniel: We also received a lot of encouragement from the upperclassmen in Delta Sigma Pi because they also competed in the same competition in the past.

How did the competition go?

Ross: We ended up doing well. We won the local competition and then moved on to the national event. The national event required a lot of work, time, and effort. We didn’t have as much time, and it was a harder prompt. They split up the 15 groups into two different rooms and took the top two in each room and then sent them to the finals. Top four teams ended up presenting again against each other and we ended up getting third place overall out of fifteen other teams. We were told that we were the first Virginia Tech team to place in the top three ever which was very cool for us.

Are there other competitions you’re thinking about doing in the future?

Brian: Well, because this competition is only limited to Sophomores and Freshmen, so Ross and I wouldn’t be able to participate again. There is a data analytics competition that is more numbers focused with Excel that we were considering doing this semester but because we were already in the Deloitte competition, we decided to prioritize that. But down the road I could see us reconvening and potentially doing another competition.

How does participating in events like this potentially help you in the future?

Brian:  I’ve heard of countless people who need to do case studies for recruitment and interviewing for jobs. With this in-depth knowledge of how to build out PowerPoints, how to present appropriately, and how to work together as a team is very useful for the future especially when applying to jobs. I feel comfortable getting a prompt, being able to diagnose a solution, and then ultimately trying to execute it from there. 

Ross: I think like Rishi mentioned earlier, and some of the upperclassmen who have done this before said that they have talked about it in every interview they’ve had. It really teaches you a lot of great skills that you can use in the future.

Daniel: Just to add to that I think that it had a lot of professional experiences involved that I don’t think we could have gotten any other way. It was a very unique and rewarding experience.

Rishi: I think that a consulting case competition is a unique competition. It combines a lot of things you learn in class such as a Finance section, research section, solutions, background, timelines and presenting your communication skills. It’s the epitome of business as a whole, it combines many different aspects. Again, there is no better way to learn than to do something, it’s very hands-on and taught us a lot about what we don’t know.